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Rae Winkelstein

That Such An Exhibit Has Come

Death is a smith from the old Smith family.

She must refrain from acting any old way

Or he will take her to a public place

And clean her out.

Certain things stand upright: others not.

Canceled they rot among sea lions

Chewed by raw slow waves

She is the outlaw of death

And must refrain from boxing

Lest she unhook her brainstem

Oh but in private she can box her reflection to gold.

Given the ten elements of a brain when come for,

Will she be insane when death corners her.

Is her kettle streaming yet?

Are the market shops beginning to open?

She begins to know—to crawl with knowledge

That she has incubated longer than the others,

Life has not worked in her she has not woken.

Yet humming/yet smiling, she boards an airplane.

Town lights rise in her and sink, she is a sieve

Gliding the landscape densities fell to the bottom.

Chewed green soap floats inside her like a seahorse

When they bring her morning’s milky moulder,

She is already getting hard to make out.

Let's leave her open awhile, reading in peace.

The last page is wide hungry for that

Heat her fingers carry to its broad body. She doesn’t

Mean to tease the pages, but the page wants her.

As something that got swallowed in the scan

Still exists in nubs of dull fire inside of the document

The fire knows her real name and smell, comes out

Twitching to meet its child.


Rae Winkelstein is a writer and editor. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has served as poetry editor for The Iowa Review and associate editor for Newtown Literary. Her poems have appeared in CutBank, Lana Turner, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Caketrain, Strange Cage, and Lit Passages.

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